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Finishing is simply important - Saturday's draw another reminder

There is no need for a five part series about Saturday's 1-1 draw between the Sounders and Rapids. Chances were created. The defense was solid. The finishing though...


There are times in a season when a result simply comes down to the ability of players to finish chances. There will be a few draws and losses that do not go a team's way because their players do not finish. For Seattle Sounders FC Saturday night was one of those.

With a full 17 attempts on goal a team would expect to get two goals on the season. This was not a case like the Vancouver game with merely a goalkeeper standing on his head preventing Seattle from finding the promised, flamethrower land. One could even say it was just Drew Moor that stopped three points from living in the hearts of Sounders.

Seattle dominated chance creation. Those chances came from the middle, from the flanks, from crosses and free kicks. A full nine players took shots, five of those players put their attempt on goal. Clint Irwin had a decent, if unspectacular match.

In the end, if Seattle is only going to convert on 6% of attempts they will not win matches. This is specifically true because Seattle Sounders FC are one of the worst getting opportunities on goal (yes, that link is old, now it won't change significantly after this week). They were 16th in the league for expected goals entering yesterday's match.

Mainly due to Obafemi Martins they are exceeding expected goal averages. His conversion rate of 29% is quite good. Neagle (16%) and Johnson (14%) are merely average. Evans is having a particularly poor season at 3% but on a career he's at 12%. Other attackers are not shooting frequently and/or scoring.

If Seattle is going to have that three headed attack those three heads all have to be goal dangerous. Johnson's career average is closer to 16% and last year was 19%. If he and Evans can get to their career averages Seattle's goal drought should end. If they get the early season Neagle back the club will be even stronger.

Last night it was as simple as one more goal being the "proper" result. Moor denied Scott. But any of the other 15 attempts that didn't wind up in the line score could have worked too.

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